Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr Biography » Daphne (Marie) Rooke Biography - Daphne Rooke comments:

Daphne (Marie) Rooke Biography - Daphne Rooke Comments:

narrator girl country wizards

(1991) The places where I have lived have been most important to my writing. My early memories of the Transvaal are reflected in Mittee. Ratoons has for background the South Coast of Natal where I lived for many years on a sugar plantation. Zululand made a most profound impression on me: I lived there for years as a girl: A Grove of Fever Trees, A Lover for Estelle, and Wizard's Country all have Zululand for background. Beti is set in India and East Africa, and Boy on the Mountain in New Zealand. All are written in the first person.

There is a pattern of sorts in some of the South African works: the race of the narrator has an important bearing on the story. In Mittee the whole story hinges on the fact that the narrator Selina is a Colored girl; in Ratoons the narrator is an English-speaking South African girl who falls in love with an Afrikaner; in Wizards' Country the narrator is a Zulu; in A Lover for Estelle the narrator is an Afrikaans girl whose life is influenced by a sophisticated English-woman. I did not consciously set out to create this pattern; it was pointed out to me after I had written Wizards' Country.

All the stories, including those for children, are imaginative works but have a basis in fact. In Wizards' Country when writing about superstition I attempted to avoid the supernatural; for example, Benge is a hunchback and masquerades as a magic dwarf (the tokoloshi). In my short story for children, "Fikizolo," the ingredients of a fairytale were actually present in Zululand: the two children were called a prince and princess, there was a real old witch, and Fikizolo himself was like a fabled beast, a cross between a donkey and a zebra!

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